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#5307: This Week in Haiti 18:30 10/11/2000 (fwd)
"This Week in Haiti" is the English section of HAITI PROGRES
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* THIS WEEK IN HAITI *
October 11 - 17, 2000
Vol. 18, No. 30
ARISTIDE REGISTERS HIS CANDIDACY
On Oct. 9, a crowd of over 20,000 (Haitian National Television
estimated 40,000) massed in front of the offices of the
Provisional Electoral Council office (CEP) on the Delmas road as
former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide finally enrolled as a
Accompanying him were several prominent members of his Fanmi
Lavalas party (FL), including senator Yvon Neptune, ex-minister
and advisor Jean-Marie Chérestal, and his wife Mildred. Also
enrolling as an FL Senate candidate was Myrlande Libérus Pavert,
administrator of the Aristide Foundation for Democracy.
Aristide declared: "It is with great pride that I stroke the head
of the Haitian people, who are thirsting for peace... Fanmi
Lavalas joins with me in saying to the Haitian people that you
can count on us, just as we count on you. We are on the road for
2001. The year 2001 can only be promising because we are working
to establish peace in the head and peace in the stomach."
Traffic along the Delmas thoroughfare was completely blocked by
the giant throng. Hundreds expecting Aristide had also turned out
on Oct. 2, originally the last day for candidates to register.
But the CEP extended the deadline by one week. There are now a
total of six presidential candidates.
SIT-IN FOR JUSTICE FOR JEAN DOMINIQUE
The Association of Haitian Journalists (AJH) organized a sit-in
on Oct. 3 in front of the Ministry of Justice to demand news of
what is happening in the investigation of the murder of radio
journalist Jean Dominique, who was killed by unknown assassins
last Apr. 3. The six-month anniversary of the killing was also
observed by the station Dominique founded, Radio Haiti Inter,
which observed a day of silence. The sit-in was attended by
diverse journalists and radio news directors from around the
CAP HAÏTIEN: 2 PEOPLE DIE IN A BATTLE OVER DRUGS
On Oct. 2 at about 10 a.m., a commotion arose in the Shada
neighborhood, a seaside slum area of Cap, when several fishermen
discovered some boxes in the ocean near Pont 9. Several dozen
young men from the area began fighting over the packages, which
all presumed contained drugs. In the melee that ensued, one young
man stabbed another to death with a knife. Another young man
drowned in the ocean. The police arrested several people at the
scene, including the stabber.
JACMEL: POPULAR ORGANIZATIONS MOBILIZE
A front of popular organizations called the Organization of 22
Groups (OG-22) initiated several activities in Jacmel to mark the
9th anniversary of the 1991 coup d'etat. On the evening of Sep.
29, the groups organized a mass meeting on the Toussaint
Louverture Place where they played several video cassettes
documenting the Sept. 30 1991 coup d'état. Afterwards some of the
recently elected Fanmi Lavalas (FL) local officials addressed the
crowd, asking the people to remain vigilant and mobilized so that
such overthrows never happen again in the country.
On Sep. 30, again at the initiative of OG-22, partisans and
sympathizers of the FL once again assembled to commemorate the
coup at the Jacmelian Hotel. Participants vowed to remain
mobilized in the face of looming dangers and to "hold high the
flame of mobilization."
MABYAL: SIX PRESUMED THIEVES KILLED
The population of Fond Melon, a locality of Mabyal and Zoranje
near Jacmel, killed six suspected zenglendos -- as armed thieves
are called in Haiti -- on the night of Sep. 25. Four other men
were said to have escaped. Peasants in the area told Haïti
Progrès that ten armed men, unknown to area residents, had
arrived in the area the day before and that the population had
immediately mobilized. The justice of the peace (juge de paix)of
Mabyal witnessed the scene and had the bodies of the men buried
where they were killed.
GOVERNMENT DELEGATION VISITS NEW SUGAR FACTORY
Accompanied by Cuban technicians and representatives of sugarcane
cultivators, a government delegation led by President René Préval
and Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis visited the newly
renovated Darbonne sugar refinery near Léogane, just west of
Port-au-Prince. The delegation toured the factory and learned how
it will operate, on both technical and administrative levels.
Préval said the factory will start to produce cane syrup by
December 2000, and technicians hope to begin making refined sugar
in 2001. The secretary general of the Association of Planters of
Léogane said that he expected the resurrection of the plant,
built during the Duvalier dictatorship and closed in 1986, to
uplift the entire region, where sugarcane is the leading crop.
MARMELADE: RATS! TARGET MISSED
Haitian peasants face a host of pests which destroy their crops.
Crickets, caterpillars, and rats are among the critters which
feed on fields or storage areas of cane, coffee, cocoa, beans,
avocados, plantains, or yams.
The northern town of Marmelade produces a great deal of beans and
coffee. Late summer and early autumn is usually consecrated to
the coffee harvest. Therefore, the government recently undertook
efforts to exterminate rats in the area. However, according to
area residents, the program backfired, causing more harm than
good. Bertho Zamor, a peasant in the area, said the poison used
to kill the rats was badly distributed and has instead killed
cows, pigs, chickens, and dogs. "It is not enough to just
distribute poison," he said. "You have to educate and train the
people using the product so that you don't make a bad situation
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